'Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!Deuteronomy 5:29(NASB)
God made a covenant with His people Israel, following their escape from Egypt. He promised that if they would faithfully honour the covenant they made with God, keep His Law, and trust in His Word, that the Lord would be their God and they would be His people.
“All that the Lord has said, we will do," was their immediate and heartfelt response. But they failed. They broke their covenant and were condemned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, until an entire generation of unbelieving, discontented Israelites were replaced by their progeny.
Despite breaking God's covenant, disobeying His Law, and murmuring against Him, the Lord graciously reinstated His promises to a new generation of Israelites. Just prior to his death, Moses once again reiterated the very same covenant and Commandments that He originally spoke to the assembled congregation on the holy mount... so many years before.
He did not add to God's original covenant, nor did he subtract any detail of the former agreement which God had made with His people, Israel. Moses reminded them of their historical past, of God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the nation of Israel - and He brought to their remembrance the long-suffering faithfulness of their good and gracious God - despite their own rebellion and apostasy.
"Go near," they pleaded with Moses, "Go near and hear all that the Lord our God has said to us," was the response in this new generation of believers to Moses. "And then speak to us all that the Lord our God has said to you," they pleaded, "and we will hear it and we will do it." This was the renewed promise that this second generation of Israelites made to the Lord.
But God knows the heart of man. God knew this imperfect generation of Israelites would be unable to keep the perfect Law in their own strength. God knew that their failure was inevitable... and so we hear God's moving response to their bold declaration, "Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!"
God knew that man was incapable of fulfilling the righteous requirements of God's holy Law with HIM, and so He purposed in His heart that the impossible standard of the perfect Law would be the schoolmaster that would point them to Christ - so that by faith in Him they would receive a new heart. The Law would be the instrument that would point out mans' sinfulness. The Law would show mankind that the good things they want to do, they cannot do - but that the evil things that they don't want to do, are the very things they carry out in the lust of their flesh.
"Oh, that they had such a heart in them.. that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!" were the plaintive words of the Lord. But God in His grace knew that the day was coming when He would make a NEW covenant with the house of Israel - when He would replace their heart of stone with a heart of flesh, "'BEHOLD, I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel, after I have planted them back in the land,' says the Lord. 'I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be My people.'"
The glorious New Covenant was cut at Calvary by our Lord Jesus, and all who believe in His name (both Jew and Gentile) are members of His Body during this present dispensation of grace. We are ministers of reconciliation with the indwelling Holy Spirit abiding in our hearts. But the promise that God made to Israel so many years ago, had to be postponed and has yet to be fully and finally fulfilled.
God is currently bringing back His people to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem - the city where God has placed His name. But first, God must punish a God-hating, Christ-rejecting, sinful Gentile world during the coming time of Great Tribulation. He must also turn the blinded hearts of the nation of Israel back to Himself during this terrible time of Jacob's Trouble - when as a nation they will repent of their sins, weep together over their crucified Messiah, and cry out to the Lord to deliver them.
On that day, they will plead, "blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord," and He will ratify His covenant with His people Israel - so that they are able to fear the Lord and keep His commandments always. God will place His Law in their heart... that it may be well with them and with their sons forever. On that day, He will give them a heart made of flesh and not of stone.
On that day, God will write His law in their heart, so that no one needs to teach his neighbour, saying, "know the Lord!" For all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest.
God's never-ending love-story for His people continues... but today, as the Body of Christ, we wait for that glorious event when we shall be taken into heaven to be His Bride... for His love-story for the Church is equally wonderful as His love for Israel... and is deserving of our praise and worship.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have not finished with Your people Israel, and for the assurance it gives me that Your promises to the Church will never fail. Thank You that nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus my Lord, to Whom be all praise and glory, forever and ever, AMEN.